The mission of The Fern Shakespeare Company is to promote cultural diversity and to strengthen and serve our community through performance and education.
Using original practice and direct address techniques as our guide, Fern Shakespeare Company (FSC) “breaks down the walls” that stand between the audience and the words of William Shakespeare.
FSC produces work that connects audience to actor, actor to text, and community to art. We extend this vision to all that we do; serving our community and changing lives through the beauty of Shakespeare.
What is original practice?
There are many different definitions that fall under the umbrella term of “Original Practice”. For the Fern, it all starts with the text. Based on any given script we are working with, we allow the playwright's words to lead us to a production that we believe stays faithfully in line with the playwright’s intentions.
For Shakespeare, it often involves creating an atmosphere in which the audience becomes part of the play. Often actors will use a technique known as direct address. These are moments when a character breaks the “fourth wall” and speaks directly to the audience.
It is our belief that Shakespeare’s intention was always to bring his audiences into the world of the play.
The Fern Theatre Company was founded in Atlanta, GA by two actors; Jessica Hunt and Douglas Graham. We began producing modern and new plays, and in 2012 produced our very first Shakespeare play. The Fern produced an all female production of Macbeth. This led to the development of our Classically female series. Since 2012 we have produced three more all female Shakespeare plays; Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and King Lear. In the summer of 2016 the decision was made to move the company to Seattle, WA and turn our focus specifically towards producing Shakespeare. Thus, The Fern Shakespeare Company was born!
Why 'The Fern'
As an Original Practice Shakespeare company, we were inspired by the names of the theatres in England that Shakespeare himself once called home: The Rose and The Globe.
The Fern symbolizes sincerity, magic, fascination and shelter. These words are synonymous with what theatre truly should be.
Though originally founded in Atlanta, it seems only fitting that we have made Seattle our new home, a city where The Fern Thrives!